The traditional resume is far from perfect.
It’s essentially a piece of paper that lists the places you worked at many moons ago.
But apart from the occasional curveball resume that really stands out from the crowd, it’s what all of us turn to every single time we apply for a job.
So why don’t we hear back from employers we’d be perfect for?
Did we miss a typo? Were all the other candidates even more qualified than we are? Or perhaps our resumes didn’t make it into their inbox…
Well, possibly. But Amy Adler, a certified master resume writer who has read around 4,000 of them in her career, told Business Insider that the answer could be far simpler.
According to Adler, the common mistake that many executives – and indeed any one of us – make is failing to demonstrate their success in the context of the hiring manager’s needs.
In other words, the job seekers typically list the things they have done on their resumes, taking a self-centred approach that forces the hiring staff to guess where and how they would fit into the company.
“When they write their résumés without researching, or even imagining, what their potential future role will require, they are banking on the notion that the hiring manager will read their résumé and have a ‘lightbulb moment’ that tells them why this person is relevant, important, and capable of doing the role,” says Adler.
“The truth is that hiring managers don’t care enough about ‘unknowns’ to imagine where they belong,” she adds.
Instead, we need to translate our previous successes and experience into the future role we’re hoping to fill. That way employers can see plain and simple exactly how our skills would be an asset.
In a nutshell, don’t ask what your employers can do for you; ask what you can do for your prospective employers.